The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
The firm acted for Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust in its negotiation and purchase from the Church Commissioners of Hartlebury Castle and its 43 acres of parkland for £2.272 million. As well as being the historic residence over 100s of years of the Bishops of Worcester, the Castle also houses the County Museum and the Hurd Library, a collection of historic books of major importance.
Working with Museums Worcestershire, the Trust will make the Castle, the Library, the museum collections and the gardens into an integrated visitor destination that will benefit the local area and serve as a major attraction for visitors from around the UK and beyond, with programmes for conservation and activities.
The Hurd Library was purpose built for Richard Hurd, Bishop of Worcester, in 1782 and houses a New Testament which was given to Alexander Pope by Jonathan Swift and a 1611 edition of Spenser’s works, which was owned by John Dryden and then Alexander Pope.
To assist with the purchase and redevelopment of the Castle, the Trust was able to secure a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of around £5 million, a record for the Midlands.
The legal aspects of the purchase were wide ranging, including negotiating and advising on:
- Mineral Rights
- Use of Airspace
- Restrictive Covenants
- Fishing Rights
- Farm Business Tenancy and Residential Tenancies
- Management Agreement with the County Council
- Books and Contents Loan Agreements
- Variations to the leases to the County Council
- Use of the Chapel
- Requirements and conditions of the Heritage Lottery Fund
We worked closely with the Trust’s project managers throughout and also received excellent support from colleagues at Museums Worcestershire and the County Council, which meant we were able to bring the transfer to a successful conclusion. We hope this will safeguard the Castle for generations to come.
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Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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